Passing Through

dir. Larry Clark

TIFF Cinematheque - Black History Month

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An ex-con jazz musician seeks guidance from his old mentor to rediscover the soul of the music he loves, in director Larry Clark's stunningly stylized fusion of fiction, documentary and concert film.

Released from prison after serving time for killing a white gangster and unwilling to play for the mobsters who control the music industry, African American jazz saxophonist Eddie Warmack (Nathaniel Taylor) seeks out his grandfather and mentor Poppa Harris (Clarence Muse) to rediscover the soul of the music he loves. Combining fiction, documentary, stunningly stylized concert footage and a score featuring music by Eric Dolphy, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Sun Ra, director Larry Clark's master thesis film at UCLA (which subsequently won a special jury prize at the Locarno film festival) posits jazz as one of the purest expressions of African American culture, and explores its ties to the liberation movements of Africa and North America.

Preservation funded in part by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Packard Humanities Institute.